How Are HCI and Hyperconverged Storage Different?

By Kevin Nickerson

Sep 14, 2021 11:00:00 AM

About 4 minutes

Technology news site reported that hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) has evolved from a way to consolidate data center infrastructure resources to a springboard for hybrid cloud because of its cloud-like capabilities. Organizations are turning to HCI to optimize and simplify operations and automate management processes through a single pane of glass.

Another trend that noticed was in HCI technology itself. Some of today’s HCI solutions allow companies to scale hyperconverged storage and compute independently, using dynamic nodes to accommodate changes in workload needs, instead of scaling them proportionately.

But what is the difference between HCI and hyperconverged storage?

Simply put, hyperconverged storage is one part of the entire HCI, which includes storage, compute, and networking in a single chassis. Hyperconverged storage differs from HCI in its targeted ability to meet the demands of storage-intensive workloads and to provide data protection.

What Is Hyperconverged Storage?

Hyperconverged storage is a pre-built and pre-tested resource that is included along with networking and compute in HCI. The storage is pooled together and virtualized using software instead of dedicated hardware. The software layer allows storage resources to be shared between separate nodes in a cluster. Like the other parts of HCI, hyperconverged storage has unified management, allowing companies to automate processes.

Benefits of Hyperconverged Storage

Many of the core benefits of HCI come from hyperconverged storage. HCI has long been touted for its ease of scale. Hyperconverged storage capacity can be increased by adding nodes. These nodes can be scaled from one or two up to hundreds. This scalability means companies that use hyperconverged storage don’t waste money and resources overprovisioning to accommodate future capacity growth.

Hyperconverged storage is also cost-efficient. Because hyperconverged storage is virtualized using software, companies can use less expensive commodity hardware, such as x86, and achieve superior performance.

By using multiple nodes in a cluster to pool storage, hyperconverged storage achieves high levels of availability and reliability. The structure of hyperconverged storage prevents a single point of failure that could lead the system to shut down. These clusters also keep data storage from becoming siloed.

Uses for Hyperconverged Storage

Hyperconverged storage has use cases outside of providing data center resources. Some hyperconverged storage has built-in encryption, automated backup, instant recovery, unlimited replication, and data archive capabilities.

For example, the Nutanix operating system has data protection functionality, including snapshots and replication. Nutanix also partners with backup solutions, such as Rubrik and Veritas, to provide data protection. Other hyperconverged storage use cases include server and desktop virtualization and public, private, and hybrid cloud deployments.

A Whole Greater Than the Sum of Its Parts

Hyperconverged storage is a key aspect of HCI, allowing companies to store and protect the data needed to fuel advanced analytics and to make complex business decisions. As part of HCI, hyperconverged storage benefits from the support and management capabilities of compute and networking resources that are included in the solution. Along with hyperconverged compute and networking, hyperconverged storage helps organizations transform their data centers and modernize their IT.

ProActive Solutions specializes in data center transformation and offers HCI as one of its approaches. We partner with the leading HCI solutions, including Nutanix, and take a consultative approach to working with customers. We can help you decide if HCI is right for your company and take you through the process of designing, building, and implementing a solution that empowers you to achieve your business goals.

Find out more about HCI, hyperconverged storage, and other types of data center transformation. Read the ProActive eBook The Complete Guide to Software-Defined Everything.

Tags: Hyperconverged Infrastructure, Data Protection & Recovery, data center transformation, hyperconverged storage, availability, scalability